An Experiment in Coffee Roasting

We’ve known about how hard it is to find fairly traded coffee for a while.  But that hasn’t stopped us from stocking up on our Folgers or store-brand java, especially since it’s so cheap compared to Starbucks or coffee shop blends.

After brewing the beer for our wedding, roasting our own coffee beans to avoid all the grittiness of global economics didn’t seem like much of a challenge.  Actually, you should know: it’s not a challenge at all.  This is easier than break-and-bake cookies.


Do this: Get yourself some green (ethically and literally) coffee beans from a supplier like Sweet Maria’s.

Cook the coffee beans in a non-Teflon pot on medium heat until they are mostly dark, stirring constantly.  It takes about 12 minutes.  Notice my ambiguous instructions?  This is cowboy coffee-making.  No hard and fast guidelines necessary. However, if you like rules and options, go here.

Beware: it’s also very smoky.

Also beware: cooking coffee beans produces this ashy stuff called “chaff.”  It’s like someone emptied an ash tray on your stove-top, but the ashes smell like a coffee shop.

Neat, huh?  Our verdict was that this coffee is way better than Folgers, even with our inexperienced roasting skills (although not quite as good as the folks who make coffee for a living like Starbucks).  And at less than $5 a pound, it’s much cheaper too.

Now to go clean up some chaff…

1 Comment so far

  1. abookofseeds

    Once I feel sufficiently detoxed from caffeine addiction to go back to a daily cup of coffee, I’m going to give this a try. Thanks for the idea!

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